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FIRE PISTON TROUBLESHOOTING
Make sure you have compression. After lubing the washer, push in and out of the piston barrel until it springs back smoothly. Then press and hold the piston rod into the barrel for a few seconds. If the rod springs back then you have compression. If the air escapes then you have no compression. You can turn the cup on the end with your fingers to adjust the washer. Then try the compression test again.
Now, if you have compression then place a small amount of tinder into the tinder cup. Make sure the washer is free from dirt/tinder and push into the piston barrel approx 10 mm. Now firmly strike them together. The rapid compression should cause the tinder to ignite. Do not hold it in too long after striking as you may starve the tinder of oxygen.
If you still fail to do this but have good compression then you will need to try another tinder as your tinder may have become damp or contaminated with lubricant. NOTE: make sure there is not a build up of lube in the bottom of the piston barrel. If there is, remove the excess with a stick/twig.
I recommend a cramp ball fungus (make sure its dry and powdery when you use it as many freshly picked ones are moist/damp). You can also try making some charcloth. This is easily done….see youtube videos for instructions. The charcloth works extremely well with the built in fire steel too.
Just to recap, you need to make sure you have 100% compression before attempting to ‘FIRE’ the piston and make sure your tinder is the correct tinder. You cannot use paper or grass. Make sure you use the tinder provided or other suitable tinder and always keep it dry.
Replacing the washer:
Firmly grip with a cloth and twist to unscrew. Remove washer. Dip the tindercup thread and piston rod end in some lube (helps get the washer on).